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  August 14th, 2015 | Written by

Norfolk Southern to Expand Capacity at its Columbus, Ohio, Intermodal Terminal

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  • Work on the NS hub is contingent on receiving federal TIGER funding.
  • Upgrades to the NS rail facility would increase the terminals lift capacity by 40 percent.
  • CRAA received $16 million TIGER grant three years ago to a build connecting highway to the intermodal facility.

The Norfolk Southern Railroad is planning to invest $34.3 million in an expansion and upgrade of the Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal (RIT), located about 18 miles south of Columbus, Ohio.

Work on the multi-mode logistics hub is contingent on the granting of funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation, based on a recent bid for project funding submitted by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA). The CRAA has requested $17.15 million in federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) funding.

Norfolk Southern has promised to match the federal funding with an additional $17.15 million. The rail carrier opened the 1,576-acre intermodal facility in 2008 with the help of the CRAA, which oversees operations at both Port Columbus and the Rickenbacker International.

Upgrades to the rail facility would include lengthening existing lift tracks by thousands of feet and adding an additional lift crane that is expected to increase the terminals lift capacity to 300,000 containers annually, up 40 percent from the terminal’s current capacity.

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The Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal, the railroad’s first such facility, is located adjacent to Rickenbacker International Airport and is considered a key stop along the Heartland Corridor, a rail line connecting Columbus and Norfolk, Virginia.

Three years ago, the CRAA received a $16 million TIGER grant and the Norfolk Southern chipped in $30 million to build a connecting highway between the intermodal facility and Route 23, the major interstate highway that bisects Ohio and runs from Florida all the way to Michigan.